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Analytics and Business Leaders Take the Stage

Cindy Forbes

Cindy Forbes

Executive Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer, Manulife

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Cindy Forbes is Executive Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer of Manulife and is a member of the Company’s Global Leadership Team. Prior to this role, she served as Chief Actuary.

Ms. Forbes oversees the Company’s analytics function worldwide. She has spent more than 30 years with Manulife holding senior finance roles in the Reinsurance, Investment and U.S. divisions. Previously, she worked in the Company’s Asian operations, where

Manulife offers a diverse range of products including individual life insurance, group insurance plans, pensions and wealth management products across 10 territories.

Ms. Forbes was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2011 and again in 2015. She holds positions on a number of external boards including the International Insurance Society.

Her industry knowledge and international experience, combined with the diverse roles she has held in her career, give her a unique perspective on the future state of the analytics function and the insurance industry.

Catherine Bishop

Catherine Bishop

Head of Insurance Strategy and Data, RBC Insurance

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Catherine Bishop is the Head, of the Strategy & Information Services team, overseeing strategy development and execution for RBC Insurance’s Canadian businesses. Catherine’s team collaborates with business and functional partner teams to ensure all activities and investments are aligned, and that RBCI is well positioned to achieve stated strategic objectives and financial goals. The team supports and drives a client-centric culture through their work, and ensures employees are informed and engaged as it relates to strategy. Recently, Catherine assumed responsibility for the Information Services team, who’s mandate is to grow data related capabilities across RBCI including data visualization, data management and governance, data sciences and data innovation, data tools and technologies. Catherine has been with RBC for 17 years and joined RBC Insurance in March 2010. Prior to her current role, she was a senior consultant with RBC’s Global Consulting Services team in Toronto specializing in operations, and in international mergers and acquisitions. Catherine is a graduate of McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and an MBA from Dalhousie University. An advocate for lifelong learning, Catherine completed the Canadian Securities Course, Financial Planning courses and earned a Fellowship with the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Known for her change leadership abilities, Catherine has her Change Management certification from Prosci and her professional coaches certificate with CTI (Coaches Training Institute). Catherine is fluent in both written and spoken French.

Michael Shostak

Michael Shostak

SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Economical Insurance

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Paul MacDonald

Paul MacDonald

SVP and Chief Claims Officer, RSA

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Paul was appointed Chief Claims Officer and SVP, Claims in October 2015 with the responsibility of leading, directing, and overseeing Claims operations across Canada. He previously held a number of senior positions within the insurance industry and led large-scale projects in business transformation and integration, product and distribution strategy, and client segmentation. Prior to joining RSA Canada, Paul was Vice President, Operations at SGI, where he led the Canadian operations including Regional Claims, Underwriting, Broker Services, Business Development, Billing and Operational Improvement. He was also Vice President, Insurance Consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Senior Vice President and National Director at Aon Reed Stenhouse, the Canadian insurance brokerage arm of Aon plc. Paul holds a Masters of Business Administration, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees and is currently a member of the Global Risk Management Institute and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. He obtained the Six Sigma Black Belt certificate and completed the Schulich Executive Program at York University. Paul also holds a Canadian Risk Management Diploma from the University of Toronto.

Arnab Kundu

Arnab Kundu

Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Great West Life

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Fred Tavan

Fred Tavan

Global Head of Innovation Lab, Reinsurance and Insurance Risk, Sun Life Financial

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Fred Tavan is Global Head of Innovation Lab, Reinsurance and Insurance Risk at Sun Life. He has worked at some of the world’s largest Insurance Companies, Consulting firms, and global Reinsurance players. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in innovation, advanced analytics, risk management, reinsurance, mergers and acquisitions, capital management, pricing, planning, forecasting, valuation, taxation and modeling systems. He has worked in Individual, Group and Wealth Management lines of business spanning over Canadian, US, UK, and International markets. He is an expert on optimizing Sun Life’s global insurance risk portfolio through internal and external reinsurance as well as alternative risk transfer technologies. He has done extensive research on longevity risk and is Sun Life’s expert in this area. He is also a key member of both the risk appetite and ORSA capital teams developing leading edge ERM quantification tools at Sun Life Financial. He is the global leader of the Sun Life Innovation Lab which includes a team of Data Scientists and Data Mining experts working with Actuaries, Underwriter, and Doctors. He has oversight responsibilities for the Corporate Underwriting and Corporate Medical functions. He has also been Chief Risk Officer and the Chief Actuary for SLF US in a prior role where he was responsible for the leadership of a community of over 130 Actuaries.

Erika Schurr

Erika Schurr

VP & Chief Actuary, Travelers Canada

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Christina Hoy

Christina Hoy

VP Corporate Business Information & Analytics Division, WSIB

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Christina Hoy is Vice President, Corporate Business Information and Analytics, at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). She leads a team in governing and transforming data into high-quality, high-value information solutions to drive better outcomes for the workers and employers of Ontario. Christina led changes on numerous information fronts, from establishing data standards and ensuring high-quality data to developing innovative province-wide information solutions.

Prior to joining the WSIB, Christina was Director of Health System Funding Policy at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She led the strategic development and implementation of funding reform across the province, ensuring equitable distribution of over $10 billion to more than 150 Ontario hospitals, 600 long-term care homes and 14 Community Care Access Centres.

Christina also held decision support leadership positions at Southlake Regional Health Centre and the University Health Network.

Zack Fuerstenberg

Zack Fuerstenberg

Vice President, Creditor Products & Operations, ScotiaLife Financial

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Zack Fuerstenberg is Vice President, Creditor Products & Operations, and is responsible for developing Scotiabank’s domestic creditor insurance products and operating strategies.

Zack joined Scotiabank in September of 2015, and brings 20 years of experience in the product development, marketing, and innovation of financial services, particularly in insurance, digital banking, ecommerce, and emerging payments. Zack has launched a variety of retail financial products and online services at a number of banks, payment processors and insurers, and has filed over a dozen patents, including co-inventing the IP behind Interac’s e-Transfer and online debit systems.

Zack holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Relations from York University, a Master of Science in Political Economy from the London School of Economics and an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Sovan Sahu

Sovan Sahu

Director, Data and Analytics, Great West Life

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Information Management executive with rich experience in IT Solutions Delivery services and Technology Consulting. Repeated success in balancing outstanding leadership and technical skills to build high performing teams. The key areas of focus are Business Analytics, Data Management & Integration and Enterprise Content Management. Implemented large scale enterprise application software in Financial & Professional Services, Telecommunications, Health Care, and Manufacturing industries. Current mandate at Great West Life, is to build and operate the technology platforms that will enable an enterprise wide Data & Analytics team.

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Craig Milroy

Craig Milroy

Director - Enterprise Data Architecture, SunLife Financial

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As a results oriented business technology leader, Craig Milroy’s career spans 15 years of business strategy and business technology implementation within Enterprise Architecture and Business Consulting and Data Management roles. As an entrepreneurial strategic thinker, he has lead several data driven business transformation initiatives to enable strategic business growth and through business centric technology implementations. He has developed and managed teams; as well as implemented strategic business outcomes at TD Bank Group, Rogers Communications and BMO Financial Group.

Charles Dugas

Charles Dugas

AVP - Analytics, Aviva Canada

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Charles Dugas is Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Analytics at Aviva Canada where he has been managing and delivering analytic solutions for business units across the company for the last 5 years.

During his 20 year career in analytics and insurance, Charles co-founded ApSTAT in 2001 with the mission to develop machine learning solutions in insurance, finance, advertising, and retail.

He also held a position as assistant professor at U. of Montreal, teaching actuarial science and performing research that led to publications in international journals and conferences. He has also worked in credit card fraud detection at Fair Isaac, pension consulting at W.M. Mercer, and reinsurance at Swiss Re.

Charles holds a B.Sc. in actuarial science from Laval University, an M.Sc.A. from École Polytechnique in Montréal, and a Ph.D. in computer science from U. of Montréal.

Patrick Vice

Patrick Vice

Director Products & Services, Insurance-Canada.ca

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Patrick has more than 25 years of experience enabling technology and electronic commerce in the insurance and risk management communities. Patrick is a Founding Partner of Insurance-Canada.ca, Inc., the premier source for Canadian information on insurance & technology.

Patrick currently serves as Insurance-Canada.ca's Director of Products and Services and sits on the company's Advisory Board. He edits the Intersection, Insurance-Canada.ca's blog, produces and hosts on-line and in-person events, and develops bespoke offerings for Insurance-Canada.ca's clients.

Throughout his career, Patrick has held senior management positions with insurance companies, distributors, consulting firms, and technology solution providers. He serves on boards and committees of various industry associations.

Patrick authors articles for leading trade publications and has spoken at insurance and technology conferences in Canada, the US, UK, Europe, and Bermuda.

Bobbi and Patrick Vice enjoy living and working in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada.

Dennis Nilsson

Dennis Nilsson

Assistant Vice President, Head of Advanced Analytics, Insurance, TD Insurance

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Senior management professional with international experience in insurance, pricing, predictive analytics and machine learning in sectors of insurance industries, finance and university. Expertise in directing regional operations, managing portfolios, and developing departments to maximize efficiency, growth and profitability.

Eugene Wen

Eugene Wen

Vice President, Group Advanced Analytics, Manulife

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Dr. Eugene Wen is the Vice President, Group Advanced Analytics, at Manulife. He is responsible for supporting group functions with advanced analytics, build a Center of Expertise (CoE) in advanced analytics, provide thought leadership, create governance and policy frameworks for analytics function and provide research and development capabilities to businesses across the company.

Prior to joining Manulife, Eugene served as the Vice President and Chief Statistician at the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB). He was trained in both clinical medicine and public health.

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Nathalie Charbonneau

Nathalie Charbonneau

AVP Analytics, Aviva

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Nathalie Charbonneau is Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Analytics at Aviva Canada where she has been managing and delivering analytic solutions focused on customer and distribution.

Initially dedicated to actuarial pricing and reserving role, Nathalie has spent the last 25 years working for Aviva or one of its subsidiary in Toronto, Paris in France and for the past 10 years she is now based in Montreal where she has held leadership role in Strategic Development, Customer segmentation, Research and Development and now Enterprise Analytics.

Nathalie has a bachelor’s degree in Science from McGill University with a double major in Mathematics and Psychology and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Danielle March

Danielle March

Marketing Segmentation Leader, Aviva

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With over 2 decades of private sector experience, Danielle has held a variety of business leadership, marketing and strategic positions working for global brands like: Honda, BMW/MINI, Dell, Ipsos ASI and currently Aviva – where she oversees the company’s Customer Segmentation Strategy. She blends her entrepreneurial spirit with a Degree in Business Management (BAS), a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing (PDDM) and Project Management Certification (CAPM) which uniquely position her as a though-leader, trusted advisor and catalyst for change.  

Michael Fitzgibbon

Michael Fitzgibbon

Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer, Slice Labs

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Michael has held a variety of positions over the course of his 30-year career in the insurance industry. From casualty underwriter with a multi-national insurer to co-owner and President of a regional brokerage firm, Michael has always put clients first and increased shareholder value. In his current role, Michael is responsible for product design and development, actuarial, underwriting, claims and customer service for an insurtech startup focusing on the sharing economy.

Michael’s philosophy is "If it isn't broken, then break it!". He is an Instructor at The Insurance Institute of Canada, a member of the Chartered Insurance Professionals and has held designated underwriting authority with Prudential, Lloyd's and Munich Re.

Sam Natur

Sam Natur

Chief Executive Officer, Bullfrog Insurance

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Sam is the CEO & President of Bullfrog Insurance – Canada’s first online insurance brokerage focused on Small Business – where clients can get a quote and buy business insurance online in 90 seconds.

With 20 years of leadership experience in Management Consulting and Business Transformation he is a strong business leader with expertise in managing large enterprise transformations, start-ups and strategic projects in the banking, insurance and public sector.

Sam brings a wealth of expertise in digital & social media marketing, strategy consulting, web applications, client relationship management (CRM) and technical infrastructure. His extensive knowledge and skills have enabled him to achieve a consistent track record of success and he thoroughly enjoys the challenges of building and running startups.

A graduate of Université Laval, Sam is fluent in English & French and capable in several other languages. He currently resides in Mississauga, Ontario and has served on projects around the world including New York, Toronto, Montreal, Cape Town, and Johannesburg.

Alan Wunsche

Alan Wunsche

Chair & Co-Founder, Blockchain Canada

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Alan is Chair and Founder of Blockchain Canada, a federal not-for-profit that focuses on education, community-building, startup innovation, and government awareness of blockchain technologies. He is also CEO, Founder of TokenFunder.io (a Blockchain startup). Alan is a finance technologist passionate about the transformative impact of blockchain technologies across the financial services industry. He brings hands-on process and technology innovation experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and startups.

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Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan

Senior Analyst, Insurance Bureau of Canada

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Kate has been with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) for 14 years. She began in investigations with the Ontario Injury Rings Investigations, and has been in the role of the National Senior Crime Analyst for both Organized Injury and Organized Auto Theft Investigations for IBC Investigative offices across Canada for the last 10 years.

With a degree in Criminal Psychology from Carleton University, Kate is a Chartered Insurance Professional as designated by the Insurance Institute of Canada and has been certified as a certified Crime and Intelligence Analyst by California State University. Kate heads the IBC National Cargo Theft Program, National TIPS program, and oversees all analytics processed through the Investigative Services Division for investigations at the IBC.

During this information-packed session, Kate will provide an overview of investigative services at the IBC, an update on the National Cargo theft Program and other trends being seen by the IBC.

Greg McCutcheon

Greg McCutcheon

President, Opta Information Intelligence

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Greg serves as President of Opta Information Intelligence (Opta), championing the company’s drive to remain cutting edge and maintain its position as the benchmark for technology-based underwriting solutions. With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, including seven years as President of SCM Risk Management Services, Greg is an executive leader holding extensive knowledge of all aspects of insurance underwriting workflow and data underwriting information processing. Combined with his focus on communications and customer relationships, Greg is uniquely positioned to lead Opta in envisioning underwriting services and solutions that drive efficiency and enhance the accuracy of the underwriting process.

Having provided insurance information services to the Canadian Property Industry since 1997, Greg prides himself on being a solutions sales person who excels at communicating with his clients, accurately assessing their needs, and leading his team to come up with solutions that work. Greg sincerely cares about Opta’s customers and their businesses, and delights in offering tailored services that provide them a high return on investment. Greg is a CRM and holds Bachelor of Honours degree in History and Politics from Queens University.

Tom DeGodoy

Tom DeGodoy

Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, DataRobot

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Tom has more than 10 years of experience as a data science leader, building and implementing predictive models. In 2012, Tom co-founded DataRobot - an automated machine learning company. As CTO of DataRobot, Tom projects the vision of the company by directing its strategic technology investments. Before DataRobot, Tom was Senior Director of Research and Modeling at Travelers Insurance, where he managed a team of data scientists. Tom has been ranked as high as 20th in the world on the data science competition platform Kaggle.com, which has more than 500,000 registered data scientists. Tom has his master’s degree in Science and Math, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Mark Persaud

Mark Persaud

Advanced Analytics and Cognitive Computing, IBM Canada

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Mark is a Data Management and Analytics executive with a career spanning more than two decades in both industry and management consulting

As a bank Chief Data Officer, Mark successfully led a multidisciplinary team that operationalized Data Governance while elevating data as a strategic asset

Mark’s areas of expertise include Strategy and Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Data Management and Governance, Advanced Analytics, Master Data Management, and Services Oriented Architecture/API Economy. Mark focuses on helping his clients derive new sources of economic value through Digital transformation and Systems of Insight (Advanced Analytics, AI, Machine Learning, Cognitive)

Pranav Pasricha

Pranav Pasricha

CEO, Intellect SEEC

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Mr. Pasricha is the CEO at Intellect SEEC. He brings a wealth of IT, Operations and Strategy experience to Intellect SEEC’s clients. Prior to joining Intellect SEEC, he used to run strategy, technology and operations for QBE Insurance Australia. Prior to that Mr. Pasricha worked with top tier strategy consulting firms Booz Allen Hamilton and A.T Kearney.

As a senior executive at a leading Global Insurance company, Mr. Pasricha has experience in managing a diverse range of functions including, corporate strategy, claims, IT, eBusiness, procurement and business improvement. Given his background, Mr. Pasricha has deep first hand understanding of operational processes of insurance companies and the role technology can play to improve efficiency and address key strategic issues.

Connect with him on LinkedIn to learn more about his approach to the changes happening in insuretech.

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Sharad Sachdev

Sharad Sachdev

Managing Director, Accenture Analytics

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Sharad Sachdev is the Analytics lead for Insurance industry. In this capacity, Sharad is responsible for developing and managing Accenture’s analytics offerings in Insurance in North America.

In addition, he also leads the Artificial Intelligence Practice for Accenture in North America. As the lead, he focuses on bringing innovative advanced analytics capabilities to the clients, including machine learning techniques, unstructured data analytics, multi-media analytics, virtual agents, cognitive process automation, etc.

He has co-authored articles in Harvard Business Review and InformationWeek, and co-authored thought leadership on numerous topics, such as spatial risk diffusion

Prior to Accenture, Sharad was a founding member of an analytics/consulting firm, and prior to that he was with a global consultancy.

Sharad has completed his undergraduate in Electronics Engineering, followed by MBA in finance and is also a recipient of the CFA charter.

Ron Schwartz

Ron Schwartz

Managing Partner, Adante

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Ron Schwartz has extensive experience, as a management consultant and line executive, in business strategy development and execution, and large project implementation.  He also serves on a number of Boards, with a correspondingly broad view of governance and enterprise strategy.

Adante, which he leads, provides, among its other services, deep analytics services and products to insurers and other companies.  Ron is equally comfortable with hands on, in analytics leadership roles or as a business advisor.  His current work is largely focused on helping senior managers and leaders conceive, design and implement analytics programs to help their organizations drive high value benefits.

Stephen Applebaum

Stephen Applebaum

Principal, Insurance Solutions Group

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Stephen Applebaum is Managing Partner, Insurance Solutions Group, and a subject matter expert and thought leader providing consulting, advisory, research and strategic M&A services to participants across the entire North American property & casualty insurance ecosystem focused on insurance information technology, claims, innovation, disruption, supply chain, vendor and performance management. Mr. Applebaum is also Senior Advisor to StoneRidge Advisors, an investment banking firm focused exclusively on the insurance industry.

Stephen is a frequent chairman, speaker, moderator and panelist at insurance industry conferences and a frequent contributor of thought leadership articles and papers to insurance industry publications and has a strong passion for coaching, mentoring, business process innovation, studying and applying disruptive technology, and managing organizational change in the property and casualty insurance industry and trading partner communities.

Cyrielle Chiron

Cyrielle Chiron

General Manager – North America and Latin America, RFi Research

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Cyrielle Chiron is General Manager for North America and Latin America, for global business intelligence and digital media provider, RFi Group.

Cyrielle has had an extensive international career in research and consultancy, working for agencies such as OMD and AMRB (Dubai), Millward Brown (Colombia), CoreData (Australia and the Philippines), Euro RSCG (France) and now with RFi Group she is covering North and Latin America. Within these roles Cyrielle has consistently conducted successful multi-country brand and advertising trackers across industries.

Cyrielle joined RFi Group in early 2015 as Head of Client Insights, Australia and New Zealand, before relocating

to the Toronto office to head up research as the Research Director for North America.

Prior to joining RFi Group, Cyrielle was Senior Group Strategy Analyst for Australia’s largest insurance group, IAG.

Cyrielle offers a wealth of retail and commercial financial services research knowledge and deep research experience across both quantitative and qualitative research in financial services and commercial and consumer payments.

She has a BBA in International Business, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), International Business & Management (Helia & Rouen Business School) and a Master’s Degree, MSc International Marketing & Communication Management (Ecole supérieure de Commerce de Toulouse).

Areas of Expertise

  • Retail banking - Millennials
  • SME banking - Consumer payments
  • Commercial banking - Commercial payments
  • Consumer trends - Digital commerce
  • Syndicated and customized projects - Insurance

David Bassi

David Bassi

Executive Director, Financial Services and leader in Insurance Analytics, EY

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Mr. Bassi is an Executive Director in EY’s Financial Services Organization focused on Insurance Data and Analytics. His empasis is on ensuring that Data and Analytics translate into maximum business impact

Mr. Bassi has more than 20 years of experience in the global insurance industry holding executive roles in Risk Management, Underwriting, Loss Control, Innovation and Reserving. He has led strategic change initiatives focused on developing and deploying innovative analytics to support and enhance risk management, claims, underwriting and strategic portfolio management. In support of those efforts he has led the redesign of processes, tools and organizations to better utilize data and analysis to improve insurance outcomes for both insurers and their clients.

Mr. Bassi has spoken at insurance industry events on topics such as emerging risks, big data and the insurance cycle. He is also a contributing author for Insurance Thought Leadership where he has written on the transformative potential of technology, data and analytics for the insurance industry.

Mr. Bassi ‘s work with industry experts, entrepreneurs and academicians has contributed to the development of innovative approaches to managing and quantifying insurance risk.

Ted Gramer

Ted Gramer

Chief Executive Officer, TrueMotion

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